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Rockford University inks new partnership with Near East University, Turkey

Dr. Ismail Mirici and Dr. Eric Fulcomer      

Dr. Ismail Mirici and Dr. Eric Fulcomer 

Rockford, Ill., (October 15, 2018) – Dr. Ismail Mirici, Dean of the Ataturk Faculty of Education from Near East University in the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus, visited Rockford University in mid-October to meet with President Eric Fulcomer regarding a new partnership between the two universities. An initial memo of understanding was signed that allows for the continuing development of a program that will begin with Rockford University offering select classes to students at Near East University and eventually grow to provide a full joint degree program. The program will make it possible for students at Near East University to begin their education in North Cyprus and complete their degree at Rockford University. Rockford has more than 20 similar types of agreements with universities throughout China as well as study abroad opportunities for students in Sweden, Spain, Japan, England, France, Italy and Chile.

Rockford University has experienced significant growth in its international programming over the course of the last decade, currently hosting more than 100 students from 17 countries. Fostering a robust international presence on campus further supports the University’s mission to prepare students for success in a modern and changing global society. Dr. Fulcomer adds, “We are excited about this new collaboration with Near East University and the opportunities it will bring to Rockford University, our students and the community. How fortunate we are to have a microcosm of the world here on our campus. Our international students enrich our experiences by sharing their unique cultures and languages and providing us a greater appreciation of both our differences and our similarities.”




The Office of Global Affairs (OGA) helps prepare Rockford University students, faculty and community constituents for active participation in a rapidly changing global society by internationalizing our campus and curriculum, facilitating experiential learning opportunities, and developing our international partnerships to achieve Rockford University’s strategic objectives.

Check Out Our Global Spotlight Students of the Month!

Global Connections Newsletter

Global Connections Newsletter, Fall 2017

Global Connections Newsletter, Spring 2018

Global Connections Newsletter, Fall 2018

Global Connections Newsletter, Spring 2019


Global Faculty Fellow

Program Chair and Associate Professor of Physics, Deepshikha Shukla, Ph. D. is the current Global Faculty Fellow at Rockford University. With her experience in the education systems of India and the US, she is passionate about creating a culture where domestic and international students, faculty and staff symbiotically co-habitate. Assimilation of international students at RU and promoting international experience for the entire campus lies at the core of her initiatives. Internationalization is her ‘mantra’.”

Community Friends Program 

The Community Friends Program matches families in the Rockford community with international students. These families help international students by giving them the opportunity to have authentic cultural experiences in the area and in their homes. Many students who have participated in this program in past years have shared holidays at their Community Friends’ homes and have attended local area attractions with their families.  Participation in this program is a great way for Rockford community members to learn about cultures and countries from around the world!  The simple application process involves a background check for the hosting household members at no charge to participants.  If you are interested in being a Community Friend to an international student, or if you are an international student who would like a Community Friend, please email Julie Griffith at  

Global Ambassador Program

The Global Ambassador Program pairs new international students with a Rockford University student who has been on campus for at least one year. Global Ambassadors assist new international students from the time that a student arrives to Rockford University until the end of her or his first year. The goal of this program is for Global Ambassadors to help international students acclimate to the Rockford University campus and U.S. academic system through post-orientation and first year follow up as a peer mentor for the new student.

Services provided by OGA:

  • >> Assist both U.S. and international students in realizing their dreams of studying abroad
  • >> Provide services related to U.S. immigration regulations
  • >> Offer international student orientation
  • >> Provide international student academic advising and support

Core Values of the Office of Global Affairs

  • “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain
  • “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine
  • Enable everyone to have the opportunity to experience traveling abroad.


Meet Our Staff

Sam Bandy

Sam Bandy
Director of Global Affairs


Maria Diemer

Maria Diemer
Assistant Director of Global Affairs and Coordinator of ESL

Julie Griffith

Julie Griffith
Coordinator of Global Affairs

Orianne Ayekoue
Graduate Assistant



Rockford University is filled with a heartfelt community that has encouraged and built me education wise,socially and emotionally strong which has made me feel home away from home being that I am an international student.

Maria Naggayi

Accounting Major, Uganda

Studying abroad was always an initiative I wanted to take in my life. Considering the knowledge, experience and exposure that you gain by studying away from home, always fascinated me to take this step in my life. Studying in the US has proved that my decision was right.

Mishaal Shah

Computer Science, Saudi Arbia

Studying abroad in Spain has enriched my view of our world by being exposed to various cultures. Each day is an opportunity of personal growth in which one can make unforgettable memories and long lasting friendships.

Jecenia Saldana

Psychology, Studied in Spain

Department Information

Office of Global Affairs (OGA)
Burpee 2nd Floor
5050 E. State Street
Rockford, IL 61108
Fax: 001-815-226-4141

Skype ID: sam_rockford
微信/WeChat ID: SamOGA_Rockford
Sam Bandy, Director

Maria Diemer, Assistant Director

微信/Wechat ID: JulieOGA_Rockford
Julie Griffith, Coordinator

微信/WeChat ID: jcty911
姜陈彤昱/Dandi Jiang, 在读研究生
研究生助理 Graduate Assistant


Mon-Fri - 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

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The annual International Food Fair was held on April 21, 2018, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Burpee Center. Sponsored by Rockford University’s Multicultural Club and the Office of Global Affairs, the International Food Festival will feature delicious authentic recipes from countries like Germany, Philippines, Spain, Kyrgyzstan, Japan, China, Sweden, Turkey, Syria, Laos, S. Korea, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Liberia, Mexico and Nigeria.

Learn more >>